2To form the plural of most nouns, add -s:ski skisguru gurusmiser misersbanana bananasmenu menusencyclopedia encyclopediasbreakfast breakfastsTo form the plural of a nounending in –y preceded byvowel, add only an –s.key keysploy ploysbirthday birthdaysjersey jerseys
3To form the plural of a noun ending in –y preceded by aconsonant, change the –y to –iand add –es.country countriesspy spiesdictionary dictionariesEXCEPTION:To form the plural ofproper nouns ending in –ypreceded by a consonant,just add an –s.the Kennedysthe Bradysthe Cosbystwo hot Julys
4To form the plural of a noun ending in –s, -sh, -ch, -z, or x,add –es:fax faxesbonus bonusesatlas atlasesleash leasheswatch watchestax taxesDouble the final consonant ofone-syllable words ending in asingle –s or –z preceded byvowel:bus buses or bussesquiz quizzesProper nouns ending in –s, -sh,ch, -z, and –x also form theirPlurals with an –es:the Jonesesthe Harrisesthe Willisestwo Gladyses in my classthe Hirschesthe MartinezesDon’t add –es to a proper nounending in –s if the additionalinflection creates a falsepronunciation:two Mercedes, not two Mercedeses.
5Dictionaries may differ in their spelling of words ending in –o:tornado tornadoes, tornadosmemento mementos,mementoeshalo halos, haloesmosquito mosquitoesTo form the plural of a nounending in–o preceded by a vowel,add an –s:stereo stereosrodeo rodeosshampoo shampoosradio radiosTo form the plural of someNouns ending in –o precededby a consonant, add –s:taco tacosphoto photosghetto ghettosembryo embryospiano pianosnouns ending in –o precededby a consonant, add –es:potato potatoesveto vetoes
6Some nouns form their plurals in irregular ways:ox oxenchild childrenman menwoman womendie dicemouse miceTo form the plural of some wordsending in –f or –fe, add –s only; toothers, change the –f to –v andadd –es:belief beliefsroof roofssheriff sheriffstiff tiffshalf halvesleaf leaveslife livesshelf shelvesdwarf dwarfs or dwarvesscarf scarfs or scarves
7To form the plural of some compound nouns, change the last element of the compound: a three-year-old three-year-olds handful handfuls cease-fire cease-fires madman madmenWith other compound nouns, change the form of the word that’sclearly the most important:statute of limitations statutes of limitationsmother-in-law mothers-in-lawrule of thumb rules of thumbpasser-by passers-byrunner-up runners-upbill of sale bills of salepoet laureate poets laureatescourt martial court martialsattorney general attorneys general orattorney generals
8Nouns derived from foreign words change their spelling altogether: alumnus alumnialumna alumnaecrisis crisesanalysis analysesnucleus nucleiparenthesis parenthesesmedium mediacriterion criteriabasis basesmemorandum memorandumsor memorandasyllabus syllabuses orsyllabibacterium bacteriaopus operaNouns derived from foreign words change their spelling altogether:
9Some nouns don’t change their form: speciescorpssalmonseriesstatushiatusdeersheepmeansChineseTo form the plural ofsymbols, letters, and words,add an apostrophe and –s:four S’s in the word Mississippino if’s, and’s, or but’s